To say 2019 has been an incredible year here at Morningside would be a massive understatement, but we’re saying it anyway! #MsideMoments2019 is a top ten list of accomplishments and moments that made us #MsideProud during the last year. What was your #MsideMoment2019?

10. Program Successes

We’re kicking off #MsideMoments2019 with a few of our favorite academic highlights from this last year. 

  • Math made a big bang when the work on the Sheldon Conjecture started by Dr. Chris Spicer and math students Alyssa Turnquist and Jessie Byrnes and later completed by Spicer and retired Dartmouth College professor Carl Pomerance was featured on The Big Bang Theory!
  • Business and accounting also had a great year, with the accounting club receiving the Iowa CPAs Month of Service Team Community Impact Award from the Iowa Society of CPAs and business starting an honors program and teaming up with Sterling Computers to host the first-ever Morningside Business Networking and Case Competition.
  • The School of Visual and Performing Arts’ production of “Dido and Aeneas” was named a national finalist for The American Prize in Opera Performance – College/University Division, making Morningside the only private liberal arts college to receive this designation for the 2018-19 season.
  • Students and faculty in Morningside College’s Regina Roth Agricultural and Food Studies program were recognized during the 92nd National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention, where Coltin Schachtner-Kramer received the coveted American FFA degree, associate professor Tom Paulsen received Outstanding Research Poster, and several students participated and placed in competitions at the event.

We know that #ExperienceMatters, and we couldn’t be more #MsideProud of these accomplishments and so many more that our faculty and students achieved this year.

9. Serving Siouxland

Continuing to count down our top 10 Morningside moments of 2019, our #9 moment is Service to Siouxland. 

Morningside’s mission reads “The Morningside College experience cultivates a passion for lifelong learning and a dedication to ethical leadership and civic responsibility,” and civic responsibility is something our students, faculty, and staff take seriously.

Take for example ODK’s Into the Streets event, which annually sees between 800-900 students, faculty, staff, and alumni volunteering around Siouxland. It’s an incredible feat that truly makes a difference in the community while also providing a great opportunity for fellowship. 

Many of our classes and programs also make service learning part of the academic experience. Spanish students, as an example, serve a variety of community partners to develop their language skills while also learning from experts in professional fields. Another great example is the work that ag students do with the Garden to Table experience, which not only offers ample learning, but provides food and educational opportunities to the community. 

There’s a whole host of other ways Morningside students are serving Siouxland, too, and this work truly makes a difference for both students and the community – that’s what makes it such an important Morningside moment of 2019.

8. Active Learning

Offering dynamic learning isn’t new for Morningside, but in 2019, we stepped up our commitment to offering active learning opportunities with the addition three new programs. 

X-Path was added to not allow students to have active learning experiences earlier and more often, but it was also a guided path for students not yet certain of the major they wish to pursue. X-Path is our version of undecided, allowing students to explore different opportunities for up to two years while still making it possible to fulfill our Morningside XP Guarantee that they will graduate in four years or less. It’s a great way for students to figure out what they want to do by actively trying things while also getting guidance from advisers running the program.

The Adventure Program was added in response to the number of learning-centered high schools popping up throughout the country. Adventure is designed to allow students to take part in more active learning programs while also giving them the ability to design their own degree based on their unique goals and interests. The admissions process for Adventure is a bit different since students from learner-centered schools often don’t have a traditional learning experience, allowing Morningside to better welcome students from such academic environments. It’s an exciting program that we hope continues to flourish.

The other program added to enhance active learning at Morningside was Project Siouxland. The initiative is in partnership with Western Iowa Tech Community College and is an initiative-based class option for students from both WIT and Morningside. Students are pitched ideas from community partners, then spend the class working on the project they select. Not only does the work benefit the community partner, but it also gives students the opportunity to develop skills like leadership, communication, planning, and more. The first semester of the class concluded in December with final presentations from students and will be offered again this spring.

7. Celebrating the Legacy of Two Longtime Administrators

Our #7 #MsideMoments2019 belongs to two amazing administrators who retired this year: Provost William Deeds and VP for Communication Rick Wollman. Deeds served as the VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College for 19 years, and Wollman worked to share the great things happening at Morningside with the media and community for 12 years. We’re grateful for their service and #MsideProud that they are part of Morningside’s legacy!

6. 30 Years of Friday is Writing Day

Over 2,000 writers have shared their work over the last 30 years of Friday is Writing Day, which is why it earned our #6 spot of #MsideMoments2019. Founded in 1988, Friday is Writing Day provides a platform for all academic departments at Morningside to discuss the importance of writing in any profession and showcase different types of writing. Scripts, comics, journals, research, even text messages – all writing is welcome at Friday is Writing Day, and we’re excited to see it continue to inspire writers at Morningside for years to come.

5. Bob Woodward

Opportunities abound at Morningside, and our #5 #MsideMoments2019 is an incredible example of that with journalistic icon Bob Woodward as the presenter of the 2019 Waitt Lecture, “The State of the American Presidency: Addressing the Lay of the Land Pre-Iowa Caucus.” An associate editor of The Washington Post where he has worked since 1971, Woodward has received nearly every major American journalism award including two shared Pulitzer Prizes. We were thrilled to bring an indelible figure in American journalistic history to campus to share insight with our students and the community. 

4. Champions Day & Athletics Firsts

Morningside athletics is no stranger to accolades. A complete listing of the incredible accomplishments of our student-athletes and coaches would undoubtedly go on for pages. So, in naming the #4 Morningside Moment of 2019, we are focusing on a few first-time athletic achievements that brightly shone in our athletics department crown. 

  • Champions Day: After winning its first-ever national championship, we celebrated Morningside football with our first-ever Champions Day in February 2019. The day was marked with a full slate of athletic events and capped off with a program recognizing the team’s achievement.
  • Men’s & Women’s Golf BOTH Capture GPAC Championships: Men’s and women’s golf have both become powerhouses, and the evidence showed brightly when both teams earned GPAC conference championship banners last spring.
  • Men’s Soccer Earns Its First GPAC Title: Men’s soccer posted a historic season in 2019, finishing 18-4 overall and 10-1 in the GPAC and earning their first-ever GPAC championship title along the way.
  • Esports: In the third week of November, Morningside’s League of Legends team captured an inaugural title for the burgeoning program.
  • Football: After a huge 2018, the Mustangs kept the fires alive in 2019, posting its longest-ever win streak (28-0/29-0), making back-to-back national championship wins.

We have no doubt that athletics will keep us #MsideProud in 2020, too.

3. 3rd Largest Freshman Class in 20 Years

The arrival of the largest class of first-year, full-time undergraduate students since 2015 and the third-largest class in the last two decades helped Morningside College kick off the 2019-2020 academic year, which is why it’s our #3 on #MsideMoments2019. The Morningside College Class of 2023 is comprised of 367 students from 23 states and 10 countries and the group represents a nearly six and a half percent increase in first-year students over the previous year.

“Our faculty and staff continue to make bold moves to ensure that students and families are not only getting the best Morningside experience possible but that our students and families feel confident in the value of their Morningside education. We want to keep doing things that instill a deep sense of pride in being part of Morningside. It’s something we don’t intend to let up on,” said John Reynders, president of Morningside College.

2. Launch of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Our #2 #MsideMoments2019 belongs to the historic addition of a Doctor of Nursing Practice program, announced this fall. The program features two tracks – Direct Patient Care and Transformative Leadership – and is delivered almost entirely online.

“Like our other nursing programs, our DNP program will set high standards of excellence in nursing education that will benefit our community and the healthcare industry as a whole,” said Jackie Barber, dean of the Morningside College Nylen School of Nursing. “Adding the DNP will also encourage more of our students to consider an advanced nursing degree because they will have the ability to seamlessly continue their education right here at Morningside.”

1. 125th Anniversary of the Founding of Morningside College

For 125 years, Morningside has been so much more than a college. It’s been called home by countless students from around the world. It’s been a community hub for our beloved hometown of Sioux City. It’s been a source of pride in academics, athletics, and the arts. There’s no place like Morningside, and that’s why the 125th anniversary of our founding takes the #1 spot for #MsideMoments2019. Because of our incredible students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and community, we will always be #MsideProud. Here’s to the next 125 years!